Bloomberg To Pump $12 Million Into Congresssional Races To Elect Centrist Bi-Partisan Problem-Solvers


NEW YORK TIMES: Seeking to reshape a national political debate he finds frustratingly superficial, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York is plunging into the 2012 campaign in its final weeks, creating his own “super PAC” to direct millions of dollars in donations to elect candidates from both parties who he believes will focus on problem solving. Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire and a registered independent, expects to spend from $10 million to $15 million of his money in highly competitive state, local and Congressional races. The money would be used to pay for a flurry of advertising on behalf of Republican, Democratic and independent candidates who support three of his biggest policy initiatives: legalizing same-sex marriage, enacting tougher gun laws and overhauling schools. […] Mr. Bloomberg has built a brand of politics that eschews partisanship for blunt-spoken pragmatism, often taking unpopular positions, like restricting guns and soda sizes and supporting the construction of a mosque near ground zero. He has seemed increasingly irritated by the rhetoric of the current presidential campaign; on Wednesday he described as “gibberish” answers by President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney to a question about an assault weapons ban that was posed during their debate this week. By entering the campaign season at this stage, when less-partisan voters are beginning to pay attention, Mr. Bloomberg and his aides are betting that his financial support can make a major difference in especially close contests. In all, Mr. Bloomberg intends to invest in as many as a dozen House and Senate races, though exactly which ones has not yet been decided because the mayor and his advisers are assessing how the contests are unfolding and where he can have the most impact. He is prepared to invest as much as $1 million in a given race, which is a significant sum, given that some Congressional candidates spend less than $2 million on their campaigns. MORE

RELATED: Mitt Romney’s weird aggressiveness toward President Obama has been widely discussed since Tuesday’s debate. He stalked him back to his chair a couple of times, told him “You’ll have your turn” and otherwise treated him in ways no one can remember a challenger treating a president. That’s after his amped-up, periodically disrespectful first debate performance. Romney’s son Tagg took the innovative disrespect to another level Wednesday, telling a North Carolina interviewer that watching Obama call his father out over what I would call lies (but Obama never did) made him “wanna rush down to the debate stage and take a swing at him.” All that constrained him, said Tagg, was knowing that he was surrounded by Secret Service and also, that “this is just the nature of the process.” MORE